HERO ordinance backers and opponents make final pitch to voters

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- It is maybe the most contentious fights on the ballot this November third.

It's Houston's Proposition 1: The Houston Equal Rights Ordinance also known as HERO.

Monday outside Grace Lutheran Church, proponents made a final public pitch to voters.

"While the federal law does cover many of the classes," said Fran Watson, the Faith Outreach Director for the pro-HERO group called Houston Unites. "What this does is that it saves people from hiring a lawyer, having to go through the litigation process."

HERO has garnered attention from all corners.

Oscar winning actress Sally Field was here to support it.

World Series champion and Houstonian Lance Berkman appeared in ads opposing it.

On Monday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott sent out a tweet urging a no vote after presidential candidate Hillary Clinton tweeted her support.

"While we know the world is watching," said Watson, "we also know if we get folks out to the polls, folks can vote on this."

Campaign For Houston, which opposes the ordinance, is encouraged by early voting numbers. Co-Chair Jared Woodfill thinks the higher the turnout, the better the chance the proposition fails.

"You need to get out to vote first and foremost," he said. "And you should be opposed to this ordinance."

Houston City Council originally passed the ordinance and it was in effect for three months before a lawsuit put it on hold. There were 11 complaints filed with the city's Office of Inspector General before the suit enjoined it and got the measure in front of voters.

That suit got the measure in front of voters.

"There are a whole lot of problems with this 28 plus page document," said Woodfill. "(There are) more than 8000 words. But one of the biggest public safety threats we face if it passes is biological males going into female restrooms, showers, and locker rooms."

It certainly seems to be the single issue driving early voting; a local issue with national implications.
Copyright © 2019 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.